September 28, 1932 – Monday, August 13, 2013
Minneapolis Laestadian Church
Saturday, August 17th, 2013
AT THE CHURCH
Friday, August 16, 2013
Prayer Service at 7:00 P.M.
Interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery on Monday, August 19th, 2013 at 2:15 P.M.
Thelma Lillian Ojalehto was born September 28, 1932 in Menahga Minnesota to John and Lillian Alajoki. She was the 5th of 6 children born into the family.
Thelma treasured her childhood on the family farm. Her childhood years instilled in her a strong work ethic and she had many fond memories of her childhood. She attended one room country school, grades 1-8, and graduated from Menahga High School in 1950. Thelma continued her education at Bemidji State Teachers College and graduated with a teaching certificate in 1952. After graduation, she taught elementary school in Sebeka for several years. In 1959, she moved to Longview Washington where she met her future husband, Paul Ojalehto. On December 19, 1959 Thelma and Paul were united in holy matrimony. They settled in a home they built on Stella Road to raise their family. Over the next 16 years, they were blessed with 6 children John, James, Joan, Jerome, Joseph and Martha. Guests were always warmly welcomed into their home. Many people visited and stayed at the Ojalehto’s home for the next 46 years. Thelma enjoyed entertaining guests from all across the US, Canada and Finland. It brought great joy to Thelma and Paul to serve their guests with meals, sauna and coffee. Thelma was known for making sure her guests never left hungry.
After living in Longview for 46 years, Thelma and Paul moved to Minnesota. She often teased her husband that when they retire, they will move back to where she grew up. They purchased a home in Rogers, Minnesota in later years, when health didn’t allow them to maintain their beautiful home in Longview.
A little over one year after moving to Minnesota, Paul was called to his eternal home. Thelma was lonesome for Paul and often commented that she wished to be with dad.
Thelma felt blessed to be surrounded and loved by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. In 2010, one of her married grandson’s, wife, and great-grandson moved in with her. Over the next 3 years, helping to care for her great-grandchildren brought her much joy. She often commented how lucky she was to have them living with her.
Just before turning 80, she was able to travel with her 2 daughters to the last state she had not visited, Hawaii. She enjoyed travel very much and she often said she had seen all states except Hawaii. Thelma was able to make her last of many winter trips to Phoenix, AZ in February 2013, to attend winter services and her granddaughters wedding. Attending services of God’s children was always very important to Thelma. During her final months of life she would often comment, “ is it time for church?”. She spent her final three months of life at her daughter’s home in Corcoran, Minnesota. Surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and great grand-children she was called to her heavenly home on August 13, 2013 at the age of 80 years 10 months.
Thelma is survived by her children John (Julie) of New River Arizona, James (Chris) of Hanover Minnesota, Joan (Dave) Parks of Corcoran Minnesota, Jerome (Cindy) of Monticello Minnesota, Joe (Deanna) of Longview Washington, and Martha of Longview Washington; 39 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Thelma is also survived by two sisters Vieno Phillips and Rauha (Wilbert) Huhta; a sister-in-law: Elsa Olajoki.
Thelma is preceded in death by her beloved husband Paul, daughter Julianne, parents John and Lillian, sister Lylli, brothers Elmer and Reuben, grandchildren Jason and Johanna.